Roadworks disruption – heard it all before?

As soon as any government dept announces a new bright idea, it’s always worth looking back through the archives to check to see if it’s all been said before. In this case a story from almost 10 years ago suggests that, as always, there’s nothing new in the world of politics.

November 2002 – A government initiative to reduce the number of holes-in-the-road has instead led to an increase in their number as utilities seek to get round regulations, according to a report commissioned by the Department of Transport, reported The Sunday Telegraph (p11).

The study – details of which have been leaked to the newspaper – showed that, in attempting to get around legislation meant to reduce ‘unnecessary disruption’, utility companies were digging several small holes rather than one large one. In some cases this was causing twice as much disruption as previously.

What makes this latest story even more ironic, is that it was only about 6 weeks ago that I read in the local government press, that the minister didn’t see a need for any more legislation, stating that councils already had sufficient powers to deal with this issue. I what what’s changed? Perhaps he was feeling neglected and needed to see his name in the national press again.